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Chile reaffirms its commitment to eradicate forced labour

February 16, 2021

Chile ratified the ILO Forced Labour Protocol, becoming the third country in South America to pledge to eradicate forced labour.

Photo: Miscanti Lagoon, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (© Luca Galuzzi)

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On 19 January 2021, Chile ratified the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, thus committing to adopt effective measures to prevent and eliminate forced labour, provide victims with protection and access to appropriate and effective remedies, such as compensation, and prosecute perpetrators.

It is estimated that almost 25 million men, women and children are still trapped in forced labour. This figure is likely to increase due to the current health pandemic and economic crisis that particularly affect vulnerable workers.

“This ratification confirms our commitment to work on a national policy to eliminate this type of practice that violates the rights of the individuals”, declared Fernando Arab, the Under-Secretary of Labour of Chile. “It also reinforces the responsibility assumed by Chile as a pathfinder country in the Alliance 8.7 for a world free of child labour and forced labour. This is a joint challenge that must be addressed in a tripartite manner by the State, workers and employers, where social dialogue plays a very important role”.

Chile is going to set up a “Technical Advisory Body for the implementation of the Protocol”, committing itself to generating the necessary and immediate actions and initiatives to eradicate child labour, end trafficking in persons and modern slavery in general. It is hoped that this instance will establish the basis for the design, implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the Protocol.

“It is an honour for me to comply, together with Under-Secretary Fernando Arab, with this relevant milestone that will allow us to continue strengthening the labour institutions in our country, and it is a demonstration of our commitment to the ILO; the only multilateral organization that generates labour standards in a tripartite manner”, added the Ambassador of Chile to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Frank Tressler.

“This ratification demonstrates once again Chile’s strong commitment to combating forced labour and ensuring the application of fundamental principles and rights at work”, said the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. “With this ratification, Chile is actively contributing to the achievement of decent work and to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030”.

To date, 49 countries have ratified the ILO Forced Labour Protocol.